Transplanting





No more care is required in transplanting herbs than in resetting other

plants, but unless a few essentials are realized in practice the results

are sure to be unsatisfactory. Of course, the ideal way is to grow the

plants in small flower pots and when they have formed a ball of roots,

to set them in the garden. The next best is to grow them in seed pans or

flats (shallow boxes) in which they should be set several inches apart

as soon as large enough to handle, and in which they should be allowed

to grow for a few weeks, to form a mass of roots. When these plants are

to be set in the garden they should be broken apart by hand with as

little loss of roots as possible.



But where neither of these plans can be practiced, as in the growing of

the plants in little nursery beds, either in hotbeds, cold frames or in

the garden border, the plants should be "pricked out," that is,

transplanted while very small to a second nursery bed, in order to make

them "stocky" or sturdy and better able to take care of themselves when

removed to final quarters. If this be done there should be no need of

clipping back the tops to balance an excessive loss of roots, a

necessity in case the plants are not so treated, or in case they become

large or lanky in the second bed.



In all cases it is best to transplant when the ground is moist, as it

is immediately after being dug or plowed. But this cannot always be

arranged, neither can one always count upon a shower to moisten the soil

just after the plants have been set. If advantage can be taken of an

approaching rainfall, it should be done, because this is the ideal time

for transplanting. It is much better than immediately after, which is

perhaps next best. Transplanting in cloudy weather and toward evening is

better than in sunny weather and in the morning.



Since the weather is prone to be coy, if not fickle, the manual part of

transplanting should always be properly done. The plants should always

be taken up with as little loss of roots as possible, be kept exposed to

the air as short a time as possible, and when set in the ground have the

soil packed firmly about their roots, so firmly that the operator may

think it is almost too firm. After setting, the surface soil should be

made loose, so as to act as a mulch and prevent the loss of moisture

from the packed lower layer. If the ground be dry a hole may be made

beside the plant and filled with water--LOTS OF WATER--and when it has

soaked away and the soil seems to be drying, the surface should be made

smooth and loose as already mentioned. If possible such times should be

avoided, because of the extra work entailed and the probable increased

loss due to the unfavorable conditions.





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